Tell us about your data
Francis Irving has posted about the initiative on the Open Knowledge Foundation blog. His main point is that “this project will need a vast amount of basic legal information to be open first” and that, so far, legislation is the only data set approaching openness.
Of course it would be dandy if all PSI were truly open – ie not just free access and freely re-usable but directly addressable and accessible via APIs etc. Indications are that we will have this for legislation soon, but for case law and other official documents that may be a long time coming. And most privately-authored content will, by definition, never be open.
But I’m a great believer in the power of metadata – ie data about data – and the white knight to the rescue here is RSS. Whoever you are, tell us about your data via rich RSS feeds and we can build the framework of the Free Legal Web with that, respecting your rights and reservations and leaving the content where it is. We may need to convince you that it’s in your interest to do so – but that’s for another post.